Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Better retool the election machines

There have been some great exposes and warning on the problems with electronic voting without some kind of "paper trail." Or voting machines that are made by big partisan donors like Diebold. All of these reports
are like canaries in the coal mine on a greater issue of the crumbling electoral infrastructure we face in the U.S.

Like bridges that collapse or streets that cave in, our electoral infrastructure is facing too many decades of neglect and a patchwork system of laws, along with a healthy dose of ultra right political corruption.

If we just take electronic voting on face value - without any hidden agendas - it makes sense. But in reality what a problem!!! Imagine installing a computer system once every couple of years and that one day you install it has to work without any glitches. Impossible. As the saying goes to err is human but it takes a computer to really screw things up.

California had a massive screw up and probably we won't know all the results until tomorrow because of having to do a paper ballot work around.

When I was in my polling place, a young woman wanted to do the electronic voting - I chose my paper ballot...and one of the judges was on the cell phone to the tech trying to get that electronic voting machine to work right. I was out of there before this young woman got to vote. In another Chicago polling place the judges gave voters a paper ballot with a stylus meant for the electronic poll and told the voters it was invisible ink. I'm sure they thought that was the case...

Instead of crazy voting machine tales and impossible registration laws that put blocks to voter participation why don't we get that blue or purple ink out, dip our thumbs in it, and get a paper ballot.

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